|Born||30 June 1948|
Melville Bay, Northern Territory, Australia
|Known for||Politics, music|
|Home town||Yirrkala, Northern Territory, Australia|
|Movement||Aboriginal land rights in Australia|
|Relatives|| Mandawuy Yunupingu |
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
Djalu Gurruwiwi (brother-in-law)
Galarrwuy Yunupingu, AM (born 30 June 1948) is a leader in the Aboriginal Australian community, and has been involved in the fight for Land Rights throughout his career. He is a Yolngu man of the Gumatj clan, from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. He was the 1978 Australian of the Year.
He was born at Melville Bay near Yirrkala on 30 June 1948, and is a member of the Gumatj clan of the Yolngu people.He attended the Mission School at Yirrkala in his formative years, and moved to Brisbane to study at the Methodist Bible College for two years, returning to Gove in 1967.
In the early 1960s, with his father, Gumatj clan leader Mungurrawuy, he entered the struggle for Land Rights, and helped draw up the Bark Petition at Yirrkala. He came to national attention in the late 1960s for his role in the landmark, but unsuccessful Gove Land Rights Case. This legal action was the first by Indigenous Australians to challenge mining companies' rights to exploit traditional lands. He became a prominent leader and strong voice on behalf of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory and Australia, gaining respect and admiration from many. In 1969 he was elected to the Yirrkala town council.
In 1975 he joined the Northern Land Council (NLC), the authority appointed under the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act of 1976 to represent traditional Aboriginal landowners and Aboriginal people. He was chairman of the NLC from 1977–80, an executive member until 1983 when he was re-elected as chairman. He has led a number of negotiations with mining and government bodies.
As chair of the NLC, he led the Gagudju people in negotiations with mining and government bodies. Not opposed to mining in principle, Yunupingu sees it as a way for Aboriginal people to escape the welfare trap if it is conducted on the traditional owners' terms. These include a fair distribution of the economic benefits and respect for the land and specific sacred sites. He said: "We will continue to fight for the right to make our own decisions about our own land."
In 1978 he was named Australian of the Year for his negotiations on the Ranger uranium mine agreement.He said the award 'would help him to shake off the image of ratbag and radical' and would give him 'greater strength as an individual and as a leader'. It was also a recognition for Aboriginal people as 'the indigenous people of this country who must share in its future'.
In 1985, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to the Aboriginal community. Galarrwuy Yunupingu is one of 100 "Australian Living National Treasures" selected by the National Trust of Australia as leaders in society "considered to have a great influence over our environment because of the standards and examples they set".
In 2015, at the Garma Festival, he was honoured by the University of Melbourne with an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.). In a statement, Professor Margaret Sheil, Provost at the University of Melbourne, said the Honorary Doctor of Laws award to Yunupingu was to recognise and celebrate the significance of his work for Indigenous rights. She said, "The Honorary Doctor of Laws is the University's highest academic honour. ... Dr Yunupingu's relentless struggle for land rights and advocacy for the agency of his people have profoundly advanced the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australia. ... Dr Yunupingu has received the award of the Doctor of Laws honoris causa in recognition of the fire he has lit that will blaze ever brighter until Indigenous people secure their self-evident rights to property, their own way of life, economic independence and control over their lives and the future of their children."
In May 2017 Yunupingu was one of three Indigenous Australians, along with Tom Calma and Lowitja O'Donoghue, honoured by Australia Post in the 2017 Legends Commemorative Stamp "Indigenous leaders" series to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
Yunupingu has kept a low profile since the 1980s. In 2007 he spoke about the need for action in reducing Indigenous poverty. In reference to the Howard government's intervention he said "The intervention was an incomplete process about which he would reserve his judgement until he knew what was working and what wasn't." In 2009 he spoke out against the inability of the government to provide adequate housing.
As of early 2009, he continued to live near Yirrkala, fulfilling his role a senior ceremonial leader and community elder. He continues to hold numerous positions on committees and organisations where he can share his wide experience with other Australians and promote the aspirations of his people.
In January 2010 he spent time in hospital after collapsing in a bank in Nhulunbuy.In late 2016, he had a kidney transplant.
In November 2019, it was announced that Yunupingu would be one of 20 members of the Senior Advisory Group to help co-design the Indigenous voice to government set up by Ken Wyatt, the Minister for Indigenous Australians. The Group is co-chaired by Wyatt, Marcia Langton and Tom Calma.
Yothu Yindi are an Australian musical group with Aboriginal and balanda (non-Aboriginal) members, formed in 1986 as a merger of two bands formed in 1985 – a White rock group called the Swamp Jockeys and an unnamed Aboriginal folk group. The Aboriginal members came from Yolngu homelands near Yirrkala on the Gove Peninsula in Northern Territory's Arnhem Land. Founding members included Stuart Kellaway on bass guitar, Cal Williams on lead guitar, Andrew Belletty (Drums), Witiyana Marika on manikay, bilma and dance, Milkayngu Mununggurr on yidaki (didgeridoo), Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu on keyboards, guitar and percussion, and leader passed Mandawuy Yunupingu and present Yirrnga Yunupingu on vocals and guitar.
Mandawuy Djarrtjuntjun Yunupingu, , was an Aboriginal Australian musician and educator.
Arnhem Land is a historical region of the Northern Territory of Australia. It is located in the north-eastern corner of the territory and is around 500 km (310 mi) from the territory capital, Darwin. In 1623, Dutch East India Company captain Willem Joosten van Colster sailed into the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape Arnhem is named after his ship, the Arnhem, which itself was named after the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands.
The Yolngu or Yolŋu are an aggregation of Aboriginal Australian people inhabiting north-eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. Yolngu means "person" in the Yolŋu languages. The terms Murngin, Wulamba, Yalnumata, Murrgin and Yulangor were formerly used by some anthropologists for the Yolngu.
The Gove Peninsula is at the northeastern corner of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. The peninsula became strategically important during World War II when a Royal Australian Air Force base was constructed at what is now Gove Airport.
George Rrurrambu Burarrwanga, a Yolngu man born in the remote homeland of Matamata in the ceremonial women's birthing area under a tree, like many babies and from generations before him. He was then raised in the community of Galiwinku on Elcho Island, Arnhem Land. An icon of Aboriginal rock music he is best known as the charismatic frontman of Warumpi Band.
The Garma Festival of Traditional Cultures (Garma) is Australia’s largest Indigenous cultural gathering, taking place over four days each August in northeast Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory, Australia. Hosted by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, Garma is a celebration of the cultural traditions of the Yolngu people, and a major community gathering for the clans and families of the Arnhem Land region. The event showcases traditional miny'tji (art), ancient story-telling, manikay (song), and bunggul (dance). It is held at Gulkula, a significant Gumatj ceremonial site about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the township of Nhulunbuy, attracts more than 2500 guests each year and is often sold out months in advance.
Yirrkala is a small community in East Arnhem Shire, Northern Territory of Australia, comprising predominantly Aboriginal Australians of the Yolngu people. It is 18 kilometres (11 mi) south-east from the large mining town of Nhulunbuy in Arnhem Land. In the 2016 census, Yirrkala had a population of 809 people.
Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd was the first litigation on native title in Australia. The decision of Justice Richard Blackburn ruled against the claimants on a number of issues of law and fact, rejecting the doctrine of Aboriginal title recognizing that in the law of the time of British colonisation of Australia there was a distinction between settled colonies, where the land, being "desert and uncultivated", was claimed by right of occupancy, and conquered or ceded colonies. The term "desert and uncultivated" included territory in which resided "uncivilized inhabitants in a primitive state of society". The decision noted that the Crown had the power to extinguish native title, if it existed. The issue of terra nullius, later raised in Mabo v Queensland (1992), was not contemplated in this decision.
The Yirrkala bark petitions, sent by the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land to the Australian Parliament in 1963, were the first traditional documents prepared by Indigenous Australians that were recognised by the Australian Parliament, and the first documentary recognition of Indigenous people in Australian law. The petitions asserted that the Yolngu people owned land over which the federal government had granted mining rights to a private company, Nabalco.
Yolŋu Matha, meaning the "Yolŋu tongue", is a linguistic family that includes the languages of the Yolngu, the indigenous people of northeast Arnhem Land in northern Australia. The "ŋ" in Yolŋu is pronounced as the "ng" in "singing".
Yolngu Boy is a 2001 Australian coming-of-age film directed by Stephen Johnson and starring Sean Mununggurr, John Sebastian Pilakui, and Nathan Daniels. It follows three Yolngu teenagers as they make the transition from childhood to adulthood.
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, also referred to since his death as Dr G Yunupingu, was an Indigenous Australian musician. A multi-instrumentalist, he played drums, keyboards, guitar and didgeridoo, but it was the clarity of his singing voice that attracted rave reviews. He sang stories of his land both in Yolŋu languages such as Gaalpu, Gumatj or Djambarrpuynu, a dialect related to Gumatj, and in English. Although his solo career brought him wider acclaim, he was also formerly a member of Yothu Yindi, and later Saltwater Band. He was the most commercially successful Aboriginal Australian musician at the time of his death.
Raymattja Marika was an Australian Yolngu aboriginal leader, scholar, educator, translator, linguist and cultural advocate. She was a Director of Reconciliation Australia and a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. She was also a director of the Yothu Yindi Foundation and a participant in the 2020 Summit, which was held in April 2008. Marika advocated understanding and reconciliation between Aboriginal and Western cultures.
Gulumbu Yunupingu was an Australian Aboriginal artist and women's leader from the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia.
"Treaty" is a song by Australian musical group Yothu Yindi, which is made up of Aboriginal and balanda (non-Aboriginal) members. Released in June 1991, "Treaty" was the first song by a predominantly Aboriginal band to chart in Australia and was the first song in any Aboriginal Australian language to gain extensive international recognition, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play singles charts. The song is in Gumatj, one of the Yolngu Matha dialects and a language of the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land in northern Australia.
Timmy 'Djawa' Burarrwanga is an Aboriginal Australian who belongs to the Gumatj clan. He is a well-respected father, business operator, cultural leader and current Chairman of the Yirrkala Dhanbul Aboriginal Corporation, a community development organisation associated with the Bunuwal group of companies. He was formerly a Director of the Lanyhapuy Homelands Association, and is heavily active in the outstation movement, numerous other Aboriginal organisations and has lent his support to the One Laptop Per Child Australia group.
Thomas Edwin Calma,, is an Aboriginal Australian human rights and social justice campaigner. He is the sixth Chancellor of the University of Canberra, a post held since January 2014, after two years as vice-chancellor. Calma is the second Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person to hold the position of Chancellor of any Australian university.
Nyapanyapa Yunupingu is an Australian Yolngu painter and printmaker who lives and works in the community at Yirrkala, Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.
Mungurrawuy Yunupingu (c.1905-1979) was an Aboriginal Australian artist and leader of the Gumatj clan of the Yolngu people of northeastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia.